Dear Roseburg Public Schools Families,
As you are likely aware, Governor Brown released a statement on July 29 declaring that masks would be required indoors for all K-12 public, private, and charter schools for the 2021-22 school year. This was a shift in previous guidance released by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on July 22 that strongly advised masks, but ultimately allowed parents to make the decision. We share in the frustrations that the Governor’s mask mandate has created and do believe that choice is an important element of the school experience.
Oregon superintendents met virtually with leaders at ODE and OHA Monday afternoon to receive information about the Governor’s new directive. This directive will be signed into law this month and districts have been mandated to follow this order. ODE and OHA indicated that they will be reexamining this indoor mandate monthly with the intent of returning indoor masking decisions to local control. This directive also clarifies that masks will not be required for outdoor activities, including athletics, this school year.
You can access the information ODE shared with superintendents here as well as an update on COVID in Oregon here. If you have concerns to share about this mandate, I strongly encourage you to contact OHA, ODE and/or the Governor’s Office directly.
We will continue to share updates and details about the start of the new year. I remain confident that this year will be full of deep learning and opportunities for students to fully engage in their education. Our top goals this year will be to ensure our kids are healthy and safe, have access to full-time, in-person learning, and receive the extra support they need following last year’s educational disruptions.
Dear Roseburg Public Schools families,
Thank you for your ongoing support as we prepare for a safe and positive start to the upcoming school year. There is so much to be excited about now that we can welcome all of our students back to our schools in-person and full-time. We look forward to reconnecting with children and families, making sure our students feel welcome and comfortable in our classrooms, and establishing the foundation for a year full of deep learning and meaningful engagement.
To ensure the start of the year is safe and focused on the well-being of our students, I would like to share more information about our protocols intended to keep our entire community healthy and our students in classrooms.
First, a reminder that if you haven’t started the registration process for the 2021-22 school year, please visit our website to access our registration guide and related materials. Everyone needs to begin the process online. You can reach out to your student’s school with questions, and schools will be welcoming families in the coming days to finish any necessary paperwork in person. You can access our district registration page at https://www.roseburg.k12.or.us/families/registration and our Back to School Hub at https://www.roseburg.k12.or.us/families/back-to-school-hub.
Following are a few key points regarding our health and safety protocols:
- At this time, all students age 5 and older, staff and visitors to our schools are required to wear face coverings while indoors. This rule is mandated by the state and aligns with the Governor’s recently implemented mask requirement for all indoor public spaces. Per federal law, students must also wear face coverings on school buses, which are considered public transportation. Exceptions exist for students eligible for a Section 504 Plan (under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) (under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
- Our students will not be required to wear masks:
- When outdoors.
- While actively eating or drinking.
- While playing a musical instrument that requires using the mouth.
- When taking a mask break under the guidance of a staff member.
- Following these guidelines reduces the impact of quarantine measures on our students. We continue to work with Douglas Public Health Network to implement quarantine and isolation measures if a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed in one of our schools. An update to these measures allows local health authorities to quarantine fewer students in the event of a positive case. As long as we can confirm that students in a classroom have maintained at least 3 feet of distance from the positive individual and that masks were consistently worn when required, we expect that only the positive individual will need to quarantine. This will help ensure that the majority of our students can continue to learn in-person, five days a week. The district will continue to notify staff, families and our community of any positive cases within our schools.
- We are excited to welcome students this year to our full-time online options. Families can still register for our K-5 Roseburg Virtual School; please contact RVS Principal Dani Jardine at DJardine@roseburg.k12.or.us with questions. Jo Lane, Fremont and RHS students who would like to attend virtually can contact their schools for more information. This is a great option if in-person learning is not the right choice for your family at this time.
- Under the guidance of our district Operations Team, we will continue to follow additional advised safety protocols described in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year prepared by the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority. The framework strongly advises the continued use of cohorting, physical distancing of at least 3 feet, hand hygiene and other safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
All of our health and safety protocols will continually be reviewed and subject to change based on local COVID-19 case rates and other data related to the effect of the pandemic in our community. Our district Operations Team continues to work closely with Douglas Public Health Network to monitor the situation and determine pathways forward that best protect our community’s health and ensure continued access to in-person learning for our students.
Again, I would like to thank you for your partnership and ongoing support. By working together, we can give our students a caring and productive start this Fall.
Superintendent, Roseburg Public Schools